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What is In-Vitro Fertilization

IVF is the most technologically advanced and most successful form of fertility therapy available.

 

Across every age bracket the pregnancy rates associate with IVF are the highest of all fertility treatments. The success rates vary based on the age of the patient and the reason for the infertility. There is a very good reason for why it has the highest success rate, because it optimizes all of the natural steps associate with the reproductive process. It does so by stimulating the eggs to grow, fertilizes them directly in the laboratory in a fertility clinic and placing multiple embryos into the uterus.

Technically “in vitro fertilization” is actually only referring to the process of fertilizing the egg outside of the body in the Petri dish. However the term “IVF” has become the coined term to describe the entire treatment cycle.

IVF has three phases: ovarian stimulation and the retrieval of the egg; fertilization; and embryo transfer.

Phase One – Egg Recruitment and Retrieval: It really starts with a woman’s period, that’s when all of the new eggs are ready to go. They will often keep those eggs from growing by giving you birth control pills. Or injection’s of additional medicines for the purpose of keeping all the eggs at the same starting line. Once they’ve achieved that over a two or three periods the woman enters the next stage with is ovarian stimulation, this is done with the hormonal injection FSH. Daily injections for about 10-12 days and four or five visits to the fertility clinic to monitor the growth of the egg follicles, to measure the woman’s estrogen levels, and to make sure the woman’s on the right dosage. At the end of those 10-12 days they trigger the maturation of the egg follicle with a second shot. After which they then take the patient to the operating room where she’ll undergo IV anesthesia, which is through her veins so she’ll be sleeping during the process. Then a needle is passed through her nether region into the ovary and directly into the egg follicle where it suctions out the egg.

Phase Two – Egg Fertilization: The egg is immediately handed to the embryologist who finds the egg and then injects it with sperm or puts it in a Petri dish with thousands of sperm, this is called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Embryos can even be frozen for later use.

Phase Three – Embryo Transfer: They look the next day to see if they have fertilized eggs called embryos, and allow those embryos to grow anywhere from two to five days before transferring them back to the woman’s uterus. That’s a painless procedure done at a clinic that is similar to a pap-smear where they put a soft plastic catheter directly into the uterus with the embryos’. Seven to twelve days later they find out if the woman’s pregnant.

And that is the basics of in-vitro fertilization, where we try to pull and end around a malfunctioning human body that is hard wired to reproduce. The technology has come so far in the last 20 years and hopefully will only continue to get better and more cost effective, so that anyone who has a desire to get pregnant and to be parents can be afforded that opportunity. Make certain you pick a clinic that has plenty of experience in the fertilization process as the process is quite delicate.

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